Care worker wins nearly 30k after boss dismissed lighter duties appeal 

Lesley Bristow was awarded £29,218 in compensation after her boss dismissed an appeal to work shorter shifts following surgery.

Care worker wins £30,000 after boss dismissed lighter duties appeal following surgery iStock

A care worker in Aberdeen has won almost £30,000 after her boss dismissed her appeal for shorter shifts following surgery.

An employment tribunal heard that Lesley Bristow, who was a care assistant at Craigard Care, was told by manager Janene Whyte that she can’t “just swan in when she feels like it” and that she wouldn’t be “leaving as fresh as a daisy”.

It comes after the 70-year-old requested lighter work duties during a meeting in February 2022, following complications from surgery on both her wrists for carpal tunnel syndrome.

Left with pins and needles in both wrists, her doctor recommended that she begin with light duties during a phased return to work following a year of recovery.

However, following a conversation with Ms Whyte, where she was told if she was unable to complete a 12-hour shift “there was no job for her”, Ms Bristow was left feeling unwell and later resigned from the position.

The tribunal heard that Ms Whyte said: “Don’t think you can just swan in here when you feel like it and say you’re coming back to work. It doesn’t work like that, we don’t have light duties.

“If you can’t do a full shift, there’s no job here for you. If you think you’re going to work with the girls going home knackered and you leaving fresh as a daisy, that’s not going to happen.”

The tribunal heard that Ms Bristow, who was 68-years-old at the time of the incident, was hoping to retire at the age of 70.

Following the hearing in Aberdeen, Ms Bristow was awarded £29,218 in compensation.

Upholding her claims of constructive unfair dismissal and disability discrimination, Employment Judge Nicol Hosie said: “The manner in which Mrs Bristow was treated at the meeting on February 17, 2022, was a clear breach of duty to maintain the employee’s trust and confidence.

“It was not surprising that the claimant became nervous at the thought of returning to her workplace and eventually decided that she could not do so.

“It was clear that she was constructively dismissed. Her dismissal and the discriminatory treatment caused her considerable distress.”

Craigard Care Ltd has entered into administration due to unsustainable cash flow problems within the company, the tribunal heard.

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